Solomon Meredith (1810-1875)
Solomon Meredith was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and when he was nineteen he came to Wayne County, Indiana, reportedly walking the entire distance.  He worked as a woodchopper and as a clerk in a store in Centerville.  He was very much involved in political matters, and from 1834 to 1859 he served at various times as Sheriff of Wayne County, as a member of the State Legislature, and as the United States Marshall for District of Indiana.

At the start of the Civil War in 1861, he formed a regiment of Wayne County men, and while he had no military experience, Governor Morton appointed him colonel of the unit that became the 19th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers.  The 19th was attached to the Army of the Potomac in a unit that would soon become known as the Iron Brigade.  In October 1862, Colonel Meredith was promoted to brigadier general and commanded the Iron Brigade until he was seriously wounded on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The 19th Indiana participated in a host of battles including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.  After Petersburg, the regiment was so decimated that it was consolidated with another unit, the 20th Indiana.

General Meredith never fully recovered from his wounds and did not command in the field again.  He was appointed to command garrisons at Cairo, Illinois and Paducah, Kentucky until the end of the war.  He returned to his farm near Cambridge City, and except for the years 1867-1869 when he was surveyor-general of Montana, concentrated on raising prize-winning cattle, sheep and horses until his death in 1875.  The Richmond Grand Army of the Republic Post was named in his honor.

For more information see:

Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana.  Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899: 271-276.  [Adult Non-Fiction  920.0772 B61a]

Dunn, Craig L.  Iron Men, Iron Will: The Nineteenth Indiana Regiment of the Iron Brigade.  Indianapolis, Ind.: Guild Press of Indiana, c1995. [Adult Non-Fiction  973.7472 D92]

Fox, Henry Clay.  Memoirs of Wayne County and the City of Richmond Indiana.  Madison, Wis.: Western Historical Assn., 1912:  412-413.  [Adult Non-Fiction  977.263 F79a]

Gaff, Alan D.  On Many a Bloody Field: Four Years in the Iron Brigade. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, c1996.  [Adult Non-Fiction  973.7472 G13]

Nolan, Alan T.  The Iron Brigade: A Military History.  New York: The MacMillan Co., 1961.  [Adult Non-Fiction  973.74 N78]

Young, Andrew W.  History of Wayne County, Indiana.  Cincinnati, Oh.:  Robert Clarke & Co., 1872: 270-271.  [Adult Non-Fiction  977.263 I61a2 ]

This monument to the 19th Indiana Volunteer Regiment is located on Meredith Avenue within the Gettysburg National Military Park.

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